Scenario: "Dude, we're just trying to make money and buy Porsches. Yay. High-five!" Beethoven, Gandhi, MLK, Gates, Jobs, Jordan, Lincoln, and Carnegie had one common denominator. When you performed like an all-world rock star, what drove you to perform at your peak?
- a) Self-rewards (e.g. money, rewards, etc.)
- b) Interests beyond self-rewards.
Probably the latter. Ridiculously meaningful work drives you to perform at your freakish peak.
Why Meaningful Work Rocks
Psychologist Abraham Maslow terms fulfilling meaningful work as, "self-actualization." That is, people perform like a ridiculous mutha-!@#$%^ when they tap their inner passions:
A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.
Instead of tapping the conscious mind to motivate you, you start exploiting your unconscious mind -- that houses creativity, discovery, and intuition -- to tap where you most kick booty.
"What is meaningful work?"
Beethoven had a different meaning of 'meaningful work' from MLK, who himself termed it differently from Carnegie. The world won't define it for you; only your sexy-self can. Start asking yourself a simple question: "How meaningful do I find my work?" Ta-da: now you have a clearer perspective of your unique definition of meaningful work. What your answer probably means:
- Response #1: "Blah!" - You're performing very sucky.
- Response #2: "It's something I have to do!" - You're performing very sucky.
- Response #3: "I was meant to do this." - You're kicking ass.
If your answer's not similar to Response #3, don't fret: ya got some hope.
"How do I seek meaningful work?"
Start off with a simple: "If I had five years to live, what would I do?" That should generate a good road map to what you really should be doing -- whether that's altering course, changing business goals, building particular social networks, etc. Seeking meaningful work, according to Maslow, involves a huge exploration process. (That is, you won't get your answer overnight.)
"So how I know I'm there?! Ahh!"
Once your unconscious mind starts telling you: "I was meant to do this," -- you're on the right path. And, without realizing it, you'll start performing like a peak mutha-!@#$%. The rule of thumb: The more meaning you find in your work, the sexier you'll perform.
Seek freakish meaning.
Posted on March 18
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